History Akaroa


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Akaroa has a very colourful history, It was first thrust from the ocean about 10 million years ago as two strato volcanoes, Akaroa was one crator and Lyttelton was the other, they reached about 1600 metres high. The Banks peninsula first formed as off shore islands formed as offshore islands.

The Waitaha Maori tribe were the first people to settle the Banks Peninsula, they were also one of the first tribes to inhabit New Zealand, they called it Horomaka, in the 16th century, they were replaced by the Kati Mamoe, who built a number of pa sites(fortified villages) on the peninsula before being taken over by the Ngai Tahu in the 17th century. The Ngai Tahu the largest of the South Island tribes, experianced tourmoil within the tribe in the early 1800s in a conflict they called the "kai huanga"(eat relations)feud, until they had to get together to to defend themselves from the Ngati Toa from northland, who were on a bloody rampage throughout New Zealand at the time. The kai huanga feud and the wars with Ngati Toa that followed, reduced the population of the Peninsula considerably on the eve of the arrival of the Europeans.

Whalers were visiting the peninsula since the early 1800s, then in 1840 the French Government backed Nanto Bordelaise Company arrived in Akaroa to establish their colony. By this time the British had signed the Treaty of Waitangi just days after the french had set sail from La Rochelle, which paved the way for British sovereignty in New Zealand.

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